Is your back killing you? 3 things you must do to protect yourself
How unique for a chiropractor to write about back pain – right? The reality is that 80% of people in the USA will suffer from back pain at least once in their life, many of whom will have multiple episodes. Research has shown that there are many non-surgical and non-drug related treatments to help prevent and recover from back pain.
Preventing back pain does take a little work, but not as much work as recovering from an episode of back pain. Think of a car. It is much easier to regularly change the oil in your car than to have to pay for and wait to have the engine rebuilt. A similar model applies to the body. By being proactive with your health, you can minimize or eliminate back issues.
“Where do I begin?”
First off, you have to move. More and more studies are showing that sitting for long periods of time is very harmful to the back. Muscles become weak and poor posture puts added stress on the spine. Get up and move. If you work at a computer, every 30 minutes stand up and wiggle around for a minute. At lunch go for a 15-30 minute walk. In addition to keeping your back limber and strong, it is also great to clear the mind of day-to-day stress!
The next step is to be mindful of your weight. Being overweight puts undue stress on the joints and muscles that hold you up. Decreasing the weight decreases the strain. Sounds simple, but entire industries have been created around weight loss. This article is not about to tackle this deep and emotional topic, but here are a couple things you can start with today. One, add more veggies and low sugar fruits to your diet. Notice I didn’t say eliminate or deprive yourself of something. By adding healthier food options to your eating, you will notice you get full faster. Thus, you will eat less. Another thing is to make a menu plan for the week BEFORE you go to the grocery store. Impulse food purchases rarely include healthy options.
Our last topic, but definitely not the least, is general spinal wellness and function. As a chiropractor I don’t treat the spine, but I recognize it as a shield of armor that protects your spinal cord – your nerves. The function and position of your spine can have a direct effect on the function of your nerves. Poor function and position can lead to back pain. In addition, keep in mind that nerves in the lower back control bowel, bladder, reproductive organs, and more. Nerves in the midback control the stomach, pancreas, liver, etc. And nerves in the neck have control over things like the thyroid gland, swallowing, and arm movements. Needless to say, having a spine that moves correctly and is in the proper position is a critical component of health.
Not only has chiropractic care been shown through countless studies to help in the recovery from back pain, but it is also extremely helpful in prevention! Over the last 30 years in practice our office has cared for 1000’s of patients suffering from back pain. Each person’s case has been unique, but the end result of successful recovery has been similar. By taking a structural approach to the spine along with empowering the patient with home care, not only do we see improvement in a patient’s symptoms, but they experience functional changes to the entire body as well!
If you have been suffering with back pain, or wish to avoid it in the first place, consider getting an evaluation of your spine to see how you could benefit from chiropractic care.
Dr. Dan Miller has been serving the Beaverton area since 1992. He has long held the belief that good health begins before birth. As a certified member of the ICPA, he has worked with thousands of parents and children over the years. For more information, visit his website at: www.BeavertonFamilyChiropractic.com